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Episode 9: Paper Moon Shine

 

Review by Will Podlewski

May 23, 2012

 

Summary

 

Aboard the Gekko, the Vodarek woman, Tiptree, tells Holland that she is sorry that she asked the crew to take her to Ciudades del Cielo, and that if Holland is seeking Nolv he would have to go there anyway. She goes onto say that it is no mere coincidence that the two are in the same place, and whips out a bottle of orange glowing liquid as she tells Holland that del Cielo hold not only the Great Wall of the Vodarek, but also a gate of choice. Later, with the Gekko landed on a deserted airport, Talho says that they might be leaving at any moment, because del Cielo holds bad memories for Holland and that he’ll be a coward again and run away. As the woman is about to depart, she hands Holland the bottle with the glowing liquid, saying he might need it someday. Holland says he prays he would never have to use it. Elsewhere, Renton runs up to Moondoggie to show him his newly completed ref board. They talk about the woman and Holland until Moondoggie goes to get his board as well and Renton follows. On the bridge, Holland says it’s a shame they’re going to miss the wave since they have to leave, and Talho calls him out. As they begin to fight, Stoner walks in and asks Holland why he isn’t going to ride the wave. When Holland asks what wave he’s talking about, Stoner points to Renton and Moondoggie going off to ride it, and an enraged Holland runs after them. He finds them as the two lounge near some wreckage and screams angrily at them as to what they are doing. Renton blabbers about how the waves are the best he’s ever seen, but Holland silences him with a punch across his jaw, sending Renton sprawling. When Renton asks him why he did that, Holland tells him to shut up and hits him again. Renton says he sees what’s going on and runs off alone. Closer to the ship, the children sit and watch Eureka-Maurice says her face looks scary as she watches the sky. Renton flies by on his board and Eureka asks him what happened, but he doesn’t answer. Renton continues to lift until he reaches a devastated urban area. Renton notices the remains of battle in the area, and that the destruction must have happened recently. As he looks around he spots a figure who flees instantly. Renton gives chase on his ref board but crashes, only to fall into a clearing where he is spotted by the old woman who was aboard the Gekko earlier. Back on the ship, Talho asks where Renton went, but he gives no answer and only says “sorry” to Eureka. In the clearing, the woman has invited Renton into a trailer, which she says is also a monastery. Over tea, Renton asks her if the Vodarek are truly terrorists, and says that she doesn’t look like one. The woman says that this is due to poor perceptions, and that if everyone gave more attention to the Earth, their problems wouldn’t be so severe. She continues, saying that humans drive spikes into the ground without concern for the Earth. Renton says that the pile bunkers control tectonic shifts, but the woman begins to question him further. When he runs out of answers, she tells him that all he reads is what others have written. Later, Eureka searches for Renton in the Nirvash typeZERO, and Talho tells her to be careful as the Nirvash itself is a danger. Renton asks the woman why she and the other Vodarek are gathered there, and she says that Ciudades del Cielo, the Cities of the Sky, is a gate of choice. She says it was once beautiful, but Renton notices that it is entirely devastated. The woman explains that the military attacked several years ago and destroyed the city and massacred the Vodarek. Just then, a man runs up to the two and says that the white devil has reappeared. As they hide, Renton sees that the “devil” is the Nirvash, touched down in the clearing. When Eureka leaves the cockpit and calls for Renton, the Vodarek begin to stone her. Renton stops them and asks them why they are doing this, to which the gathered Vodarek say she is a murderer. Renton tries to reason with them, but Eureka says it is fine because she truly was a dog of the military. Just then, an alarm goes up, and the woman tells them to take cover as an airship appears on the horizon to bomb the ruins.

 

Onboard the Gekko, the crew makes preparations to launch, but on such short notice, the main guns won’t be online in time. Talho readies to retreat, and tells Gidget to tell Holland, who has sortied in the Terminus typeR909, to meet up with them. As bombs rain down on the city, Renton asks Eureka why they did this to her, and she says she is merely suffering consequences. She says she killed many people in del Cielo years ago. In a flashback, Eureka relays to Renton that her mission in the Federation Special Forces, the SOF, was to eliminate all the city’s inhabitants. Renton then realizes that most of Gekkostate comes from the SOF, and Eureka says they did anything they were told, including massacring civilians. She says that she only had the Nirvash and Holland, her commander in the SOF at the time, to believe in. Back in the flashback, a group of Vodarek soldiers planted a trap for the Nirvash, causing it to sink into the ground. Eureka then left the cockpit and gunned down the group with a machine gun. When she went to check the bodies, she came across the three children. In the present, she tells Renton that she is still fighting a war, and that she hurts and kills people every day. She continues to say that people do whatever it is they need to survive, and that she needs Renton in order to make the Nirvash function. Renton asks that if that’s true, why then did she rescue the children. When she doesn’t answer, Renton tells her that she is lying to herself and that if she wants to atone for her sins, she should help the Vodarek. Eureka says that would only cause trouble to go out, but Renton climbs into the Nirvash anyway. The Nirvash then suddenly moves by itself and crashes into the ground, shattering the right canopy. Eureka then tells Renton that they must go, because the Nirvash told her to listen to him. On the Federation airship, the captain says that it’s time to leave, but one of the bridge officers tells him an unknown LFO is approaching. The Nirvash dodges the ship’s anti-air fire and slices through one its wings, sending it crashing into the ground. Holland notes that the way that the Nirvash attacked the airship, by destroying the wing Trapar reflectors, is not Eureka’s fighting style. In the Nirvash, Renton tells Eureka to look out at the full moon, and tells her that she made a choice, and that he admires her for choosing to save the children in the past. He says that whatever decisions she made in the past, he stills believes in her. She starts to cry, and says that she may have changed since he came aboard the Gekko. Monologuing to his sister, Renton says that he wants to be Eureka’s strength. Back aboard the Gekko, Renton takes all the blame for sortieing in the Nirvash, but Holland just asks him where his new board went. Renton says he lost it in all the commotion, so gives him a new green flywheel, the official symbol of Gekkostate, and tells him to put it on his next one. Talho then shows him to his new room: and old storage closet. She says that it is his first assignment as an official member to clean out the closet, to which Renton responds with a smile. In the hangar, Eureka asks the Nirvash if she has indeed changed.

 

Commentary

 

Finally, after a string of five episodes with almost no development plot-wise or character insight, this episode features copious amounts of both. Many mysteries are resolved here: where Gekkostate came from, why Holland wanted to keep his distance from Ciudades del Cielo, where Eureka’s children came from and what it is that haunts Eureka. It is also nice to see Renton take a more active role in his relationship with Eureka, and now that he has a raison d'être in acting as a source of strength for Eureka, he might become just a little less starry-eyed whenever he’s around her. On top of that, it’s even better to see the resolution of the Renton initiation arc, and hopefully this is the end of it now that he’s an official member of Gekkostate. Technically, there’s some fantastic animation, especially in the flashback sequence as well as the battle with the airship at the end of the episode. Also deserving special mention is Kaori Nazuka’s performance in the Japanese audio track in this episode as Eureka: her full range is on display here, and she nails the part. Hopefully Eureka Seven can keep up this pace and avoid another string of slow episodes in the future.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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